I come to a most impactful set of verses from the Apostle Paul.
These verses call out our glory while at the same time deal most intimately with the pain we bear.
The hope, the promise here is in II Corinthians 3:18: the spiritual training we are in this life is the transformation of our hearts from one degree of glory to another. All the PAIN we experience here is as a momentary affliction and that pain is a part of God’s glorious process of preparing us for the unimaginable–something beyond compare. He is creating eternal glory in us and in the heavenlies, unseen by the human eye.
We have a future, we have a hope, but let’s look for a minute to why we need this encouragement from the Apostle Paul.
At the beginning of II Corinthians 4 Paul speak to the Gospel as Light to us. The Gospel brought us much light. We are going to need that light for what he depicts next starting in verse 7. Do you remember the Jesus is Enough video? We need that because we are going to be hit with so many afflictions and as they come to us, we are not always going to know how to deal with them. Look at the verbs he uses here afflicted, persecuted, perplexed, struck down, yes, he says it–we are called to carry in our bodies the death of Jesus! This is hell people! The picture he paints here is not pretty. Life is messy. Life is full of pain. The Apostle Paul is only being realistic with us.
Are you there now, experiencing pain? If no, it won’t be long.
Why has Paul delivered such a woeful message to us? There is a very good reason.
He wants us to trust emphatically, repent of our sin, believe that God is good towards us–even in the middle of the toughest difficulties, and bring it all, the pain, the tears, the anguish, all of it, to Jesus. Give it to Him. Allow Him to receive it. AND, know that God is good! Believe that! Really believe that!
So, when we are down, afflicted, depressed, whatever our state, we go to Him and give Him the pain, our bodies, our hearts–we surrender it all–getting in return His love, grace, and forgiveness.
Paul shows us the foundation for knowing and believing that Jesus will deliver us through all these pain-inflicting experiences. We know the end. We know He is taking us from one level of glory to another, we know we have the light of the Gospel, we know are not crushed, not driven to despair, not forsaken, and not destroyed.
The purpose of the pain is to bring about the destruction of the flesh, that low nature we Came into the world having. We know that if He, God, raised Jesus, He will raise us.
Do you believe God’s heart is good towards you?
Can you trust your deep desires to God? ( love, honor, significance )
What will you do with the pain in your life?
I have been though gut-wrenching emotional and spiritual pain in my life. I will link some examples here. I am concluding from what Paul says here that my pain is for my growth and glory.
I don’t always immediately take my pain to Jesus, but I am learning that at His feet is the best place for all my pain. I am learning to view the pain as a place to pursue healing so that my heart is transformed from one level of glory to another. Lord Jesus let that be a continual process. Search me O God and know my thoughts. See if there is a wicked way in me and lead me in the Your eternal way.